Convenient political legends that keeps...

ONE OF THOSE

February 26, 1994

ONE OF THOSE convenient political legends that keeps growing -- because it's in everyone's interest to perpetuate -- is the fiction about Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos.

Old friends from their early days as fellow members of the Baltimore City Council, the tale goes.

Tain't so.

The latest to fall for the myth is Tim Kurkjian, one-time baseball writer for The Sun who is on the staff of Sports Illustrated. It's reinforced by the pair's public behavior, since Mr. Angelos bought the Orioles last year and restored the team to local control.

Ever the home-town booster, Governor Schaefer welcomed Mr. Angelos with open arms. The embrace has gotten tighter since Mr. Angelos has thrown his considerable millions behind the governor's dearly beloved goal of bringing major league football back to Baltimore.

L Friends they may well be now, but they weren't 30 years ago.

Mr. Angelos was elected a maverick member of the council from Northeast Baltimore in 1959, when a "reform" ticket swept the old-guard administration of Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. out of office.

Mr. Schaefer, who was elected to his second term from West Baltimore, became the floor leader for the new administration of Mayor J. Harold Grady.

Though Mr. Angelos was one of the newcomers, he was not part of the Grady team. Mr. Schaefer, not yet demonstrating the leadership qualities which he displayed as mayor years later, was even in those early political days thin-skinned -- and also easily flustered.

No one enjoyed baiting Mr. Schaefer more than the rotund, brilliant and mischievous Councilman Solomon Liss from Northwest Baltimore. A close ally of the deposed Mr. D'Alesandro, Mr. Liss delighted in sitting directly behind Mr. Schaefer and sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally, tugging at the floor leader's coat tails.

And no one more enjoyed baiting Mr. Schaefer from across the aisle or egging Mr. Liss on than the diminutive but equally combative Mr. Angelos. Councilman Schaefer detested them both.

There's no evidence Mr. Schaefer changed his mind, either, until Angelos completed the conversion of the governor's beloved baseball park into a truly Baltimore institution.

* * *

STALWART defenders of French culture are so alarmed over the onslaught of English words that they want to pass a law in Paris that would make pure French compulsory in radio and TV advertising.

That would follow a statute passed in December decreeing that 40 percent of all songs broadcast must have French lyrics. This ** is in line with attempts to limit the import of American films.

Remember: It's Viva la France, not "Long Live France."

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